The fall season has arrived and tree leaves in most parts of the country are turning from green to deep red and orange. For many regions in the U.S., weather conditions have changed from hot and humid to cool, yet comfortable. For many, now is the perfect season to snuggle up with your pumpkin spice latte — or beer — and enjoy this beautiful time of year. It’s also the time for fall carwashing.

Don’t let sales fall off

For many seasoned carwashing and detailing professionals, fall is the time of year when carwashing is usually not top-of-mind. In fact, some carwash customers might not want to go through the effort of washing their cars and SUVs during the fall since the elements of winter, including road salt, sand and snow, are just weeks away.

Unfortunately for the professional carwashing business, these customers are not alone. In fact, the least popular season to wash a car is fall, according to a survey from Statistic Brain. According to this research, only 18 percent of sales happen during the fall carwashing season.

But, we are here to give you good news and information that you can share with your customers as a new business owner in this industry. Customers should still indeed wash and wax their cars during autumn months.

Customers should change with the seasons

New investors in this industry usually don’t stop and think about why customers, especially loyal customers, get their cars washed. First, it makes them feel good about themselves. Another reason loyal carwash customers keep coming back is because they love their cars and they want to protect their investments. For most customers, their car is their families’ second biggest investment, behind their homes.

It is true; Americans still have a love affair with the automobile. And, new owners in this industry should think about why that is.

Customers will pay to tune up all the parts of their cars that people do not immediately see, such as the engine and the exhaust. All that stuff is great, but remember what attracted a customer to his or her car in the first place? Chances are it was not the exhaust system.

Fall carwashing tune-up

A carwash and wax is a tune-up for the outside of customers’ cars. It does not just make it look pretty and shiny either. Customers should understand that a protective wax keeps their cars safe from the perils of fall debris, such as sap, dead leaves, bird excrement, tar and mud. Falling leaves can do much more damage than most customers might originally think. These fall season pests can create all sorts of micro scratches that can lead to bigger problems, and can be especially costly when winter arrives.

And this should be a no-brainer, but simply driving your car makes it dirty. If you are out often during the day, ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the paint over time. The more mileage you pile on your car, the more dirt and debris will build up; it happens in every season.

Five fall car care tips

So after you have convinced your new customers that washing and waxing is not just something to do every five months when they are bored, here are some other fall tips to share with them:

  • Clear off any debris. Fall can be tough driving weather. It gets cold and dark early, and storms roll through often. Your customers need perfect visibility for these conditions, so advise them to brush off any leaves, mud, dirt, etc., when present.
  • Check the wipers. Make sure they can wipe water and grime away quickly and efficiently.
  • Have some cloths and anti-freeze solution nearby. The harsh weather of early winter can take a toll on customers’ cars faster than you can say “Jack Frost.” Customers should purchase — maybe from your carwash’s multi-profit centers — these materials in their cars to combat the weather.
  • Vacuum interior areas. The cold seasons can wreak havoc on car interior areas. Leaves and mud can litter your customers’ floor mats and fingerprints can pile up on the dash. Customers should do themselves a favor and vacuum and wipe down the interior whenever possible.
  • Keep tabs on the important stuff. Brake pads, tires, the engine and other vital components of the car should be maintained regularly to keep the vehicle operating at optimal performance levels. Customers will need good brakes for slippery fall and winter roads, and good tires to grip the road.

Autumn may be beautiful, but your customers’ cars could beg to differ. When customers are not busy taking in all this lovely season has to offer, remind them of the importance of fall carwashing and waxing … it will pay off in the long run.


Scott Huntington is a writer and automotive enthusiast from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Check out his blog Off The Throttle at www.offthethrottle.com, or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington